For at least a quarter of football, Fenwick appeared poised to perhaps stun explosive Loyola Academy. The host Friars led 7-0 at the end of the opening quarter before the Ramblers reeled off five touchdowns in the second en route to a 47-7 win at Morton West Stadium on Friday.
Fenwick (3-4) turned away the Ramblers’ bid for a first down off a fake punt attempt in the opening quarter. The Friars capitalized on their ensuing offensive series when quarterback Pat Hart scored on a 2-yard run and kicker Vince Falk converted the PAT to put Fenwick up 7-0.
The second quarter was a completely different story as Loyola star quarterback Malcolm Weaver tossed three touchdown passes, Michalek Reed scored on a 15-yard run, and defensive lineman Michael Scott returned an interception 25 yards for another touchdown, paving the way for a Ramblers’ 33-7 halftime cushion.
Weaver (16-for-28, 212 yards) threw his fourth touchdown on the night to Marquese Martin-Hayes on a 24-yard pass play at the 8:12 mark of the third quarter. Ramblers running back Ryan Ribordy (7 carries, 61 yards) capped off the scoring on a 34-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter to push the Loyola lead to 47-7.
Fenwick managed only 107 yards of total offense, while Loyola (7-0) amassed 452 yards. Hart finished 3-for-9 for 66 yards and running back Jack Stibich rushed for 25 yards on 11 carries. The Friars couldn’t establish any kind of ground game, finishing with a paltry 26 net yards rushing. One bright spot was wide receiver John O’Malley, who hauled in three catches for 53 yards.
Charlie Dowdle led the Ramblers’ receiving corps with six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
With two regular season games remaining, the Friars need to win both games to qualify for the playoffs.
Fenwick visits Lake Forest Academy (1-6) on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Caxys are not a current member of the IHSA, and joined the Chicago Catholic League this season as an associate member. Lake Forest is the first non-Catholic school to enter the league in its 99-year history.
Quarterback Seamus Finnegan, running back Quai Chandler, wideout Charles Harris and 6-3, 265-pound defensive end/Division-I recruit Faith Ekakitie lead the Caxys.
The Friars will celebrate Senior Day when they face De La Salle on Oct. 22 (1 p.m.) at Morton West Stadium to close out the regular season. The Meteors will present a tough challenge, led by prolific sophomore running back Mikale Wilbon.